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Tutorial: Create your own rub ons

A while ago I saw a tutorial on Pinterest about creating your own rub ons. In the tutorial, the person created an entire sheet of the same rub on. While I thought it was cool, I couldn’t think of when I would use the technique.

This past weekend, when I was working on a card and trying to get a sentiment I typed up on my printer centered on a little die cut tag, the light bulb went off. How much easier could it get other than creating a rub on, centering on the tag, and rubbing away? So now that I have connected the dots on how useful this can be to an average paper crafter (like me) I thought I would share to see if I could make some one else’s paper crafting life a little easier.

I put together this photo tutorial to show you how easy it is. All you need is a printer, a blank transparency sheet, and a popsicle stick.

First, create your sentiment in Microsoft Word. This would work for a sentiment you type yourself or a digi stamp sentiment. (Think of the fun sentiments you can make with all the free fonts available for download!) For my example, I am using the sentiment I created and used for this card. (I apologize if the screen shots look a little blurry. They look sharp in my photo editing program but they seem to be a bit blurry here.)

Fullscreen capture 3182012 10323 PM.bmp

The trick comes when you print it. Click “Print”. You will see a screen like the one below, then click “Properties”.

Fullscreen capture 3182012 10348 PM

From here, you will want to look for the option that says “Mirror Image” and click the drop down box to “On”.

Fullscreen capture 3182012 10406 PM

Load your transparency into your printer and then click “OK” to print your rub on.

Be careful removing from the printer. The ink may still be wet and you don’t want to smear it.

Unless you are going to print some more rub ons, you will want to go back into your print properties and toggle the “Mirror Image” back to “OFF” or anything else you print will be reversed too.

At this point, when you are ready, you can use your custom made rub on just like any other rub on.

Place your rub on with the ink side down where you want to apply it. (You should be able to read the text at this point.) Holding it carefully so that it does not slide, use a popsicle stick to thoroughly rub over the ink to apply it to your paper.


(Do you know how hard it is to apply a rub on and take a picture at the same time?) Below is the finished product.


Now you are ready to finish your craft project. Isn’t this great? It is perfect for getting custom sentiments on tags or other die cuts. I used this technique several times over the weekend using the same transparency. I cleaned it in between uses with stamp cleaner and a paper towel. I don’t know home any times I can print over the same area, but there is a lot of room to print sentiments on a single transparency. It seems to be pretty cost effective.

You can see the finished product (on another tag) on this card.

2012-03-20 WSS Chick card WM

I hope you will find this tutorial useful. If you do, I would love to see the projects you make using this technique. Leave a link in the comments and I will drop by.

Edit: I have received some questions in email and comments. I will try to answer them here to clarify the tutorial.

You can purchase transparencies at any place that carries office supplies. I Googled it and found out that the correct name is “Transparency Film”. Here is a link to a sample. I have found a variety of prices.

You probably can use acetate. Acetate is a bit thicker and probably would work. I’m not sure and I don’t have any to experiment with. If any one tries this, let me know the results.

While the ink is wet, it will smear quite easily. I have not tried to print a sheet and storing them. I have used them right away. I would think that you would store them as long as you were careful and they didn’t rub on anything or get scratch.

While you are here, don’t forget to check out my March Followers Blog Candy of 2 MME paper pads. Click on the picture for details.

Have a great day!

Shared on Whatever You Want Wednesday at Free Pretty Things For You! , Top Tip Tuesday, & Tater Tots & Jello Week end Wrap Up Party


lis-m said…
Oooh , thats a fabby idea.. now where can I get a transparency sheet I'm thinking...... Does its just "hold" the sentiment til you rub it off? this is so clever I can't get my head round!
Hugs xxx
Sam Barry said…
Thank you so much Cheryl I cant wait to give this is a go. The tutorial is fantastic and so easy to follow.
How cool!! Thanks for the tutorial!!!
Julie Robinson said…
love this card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Audrey Pettit said…
OMGosh, your card is SO cute, Cheryl! And what a fabulous technique to make your own rub-ons. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing!
xiumaiyuki said…
Thanks so much for sharing this. I will have to give it a try. And your chickie card is absolutely adorable!!
Debra Hensley said…
Great tutorial and great tip! I will defintely be trying this. Love your card too- it's so cute! Thanks for sharing!
Pat (mspfd) said…
What a great idea, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing your fabulous tutorial! Super sweet card. Love the little tag with rub on sentiment.
Lorraine said…
Cool tutorial, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing with us!
chrissy xx said…
Thank you sooo much for sharing! Fabulous card. Fabulous colours. LOve it.
Arabella said…
Oooh great idea Cheryl! I'm definitely going to give it a go some time!

SusanLotus said…
So beautiful! Great warm colours and papers.
Take care! :)
Marianne said…
Thanks a lot, Cheryl. I've been wanting to create my own rub-ons for ages. I had been thinking of temporary tattoo paper, but using transparencies is much easier AND cheaper. I think the rubbing off will probably be easier with transparencies than with acetate. Storing a printed sheet might work by placing a sheet of plain paper on top and putting it in a binder pocket. It might well be that the printed text/image will be more difficult to rub off after prolonged storage. On the other hand, you might just as easily save your rub-on image/text in a Word file to print when needed if you can reuse the sheet. Cannot wait to try this!
Marianne said…
Love the card, too, btw. Such happy colours!
Samantha said…
Fabby card and brilliant tutorial too! great idea thanks for sharing this Tip and joining in on the Top Tip Tuesday challenge this time, Hope you can come play again soon, hugs Samantha :0)
Karin said…
Very cool! Thanks for sharing this tip :)
Shelby said…
Thanks for the fab tutorial and love how this card turned out!

Bettina L. said…
This is a really great idea. Thanks for the tip and such a lovely card too. Thanks for sharing at Top Tip Tuesday and good luck. Hope to see you back tuesday for another challenge. Bettina xx
1CardCreator said…
Great idea! Wish I could print transparencies in my Epson printer, wont print for me!
Pia S said…
So often I have missed a rubon to use - tanks for sharing this idea!
Pia S said…
So often I have missed a rubon to use - tanks for sharing this idea!

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